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17 June 2012 @ 06:52 pm
[Multi-chapter] Change Me - Prologue  

TITLE: Change Me
LENGTH: Multi-Chapter
PAIRING: Ninomiya Kazunari X Original Character, Arashi
GENRE: Real Life, Friendship, Romance, Drama
RATING: PG 13 (for now)
SUMMARY: Takasugi Seira’s life is the envy of many - a big house in the city’s most upscale neighborhood, an invite to every must-go party thrown by her socialite friends and the money to buy and do whatever she wants. Thanks to her award-winning actor father and her former pop idol mother, she has all the luxury in the world. But amidst the accomplishments of her family, Seira’s life is going nowhere. She’s a spoiled brat, never settles for a stable job and still very much financially dependent on her parents. An inescapable deal with her father took her to the edge as she is forced to live out of her comfort zone. Struggling to prove herself to her family, Seira found refuge in Ninomiya Kazunari- pop idol, a shut-in game freak and the most frugal person in the planet, a man who is a total opposite of her.




Happy Birthday, NINO!!! :DDD



PROLOGUE
When a terrible day turns into something memorable


April 2006, Los Angeles, California

Ninomiya Kazunari isn’t the one to bring as a plus one in this kind of gatherings. He’s not the type to socialize with people he met for the first time, especially when they speak a language he can’t evidently use to explain his thoughts freely.  He hates it when he needs pretend to have an instant liking on them, flashing a smile on every face his eyes falls upon and striking up a random conversation about matters he doesn’t understand.

Putting a fake smile in private is much harder that doing one at work.

 He just can’t get it. This is a wedding reception. Undeniably, attention must be on the newly-wed couple but most people here only came to boast about themselves. They talk about other people’s clothes, who is wearing who, bragging about their upcoming summer trips to Europe or some tropical island in the south and how they are flying first-class and renting a personal yacht. He can only shake his head disappointingly.

 The lives of the upper-class doesn’t interest him much, in fact, just thinking about those conceited members of the society makes him sick in the stomach. He swears he can never get along with one.

Well, with the exception of Takasugi Yuji, the one to blame why he’s here, gob smacked in the middle of these annoying socialites.

He met Yuji on the set of Letter from Iwo Jima, on the first day of filming and they instantly got along. He heard that some second-generation actor, the son of the award-winning Takasugi Kichirou nonetheless, is joining the cast. Although his role was rather small compared to his and only manages to get a few lines to speak.

But Yuji is surprisingly modest and easy to get along with unlike other second generation actors back home. He never once brags about his father nor did he ever mention his name once to one-up himself. He’s also got a strict work ethic despite landing such a small role. He always comes on set ahead of time, prepared and rehearsed for the scenes to take that day. He makes friends with everyone on set, teaching the America first-timers some basic English.

Overall, Yuji is a pleasant guy and Nino lucky to have found a new friend in him. Being away from home is really frustrating and he was glad he met someone right away to take his mind away from being homesick.

“Okay, you guys! I’m calling all bachelors to come in front. We’ll now find one lucky guy who’ll receive the garter!” The overly enthusiastic host screamed on his microphone.

Nino turns back to his drink and ignored the commotion going on in front of the stage.

He already spent the past hour and a half on the far end of the open bar, secluding himself from the celebration.

“Why don’t you join them?” He heard someone say in his native tongue. In that instant, he was glad to hear something familiar for a change. “Surely, you’re a bachelor.”

Nino just smiled politely and continued drinking his alcohol. He’s not in the mood for a little chitchat with another stranger.

The girl seated on the empty bar stool beside him, ordering a cocktail before she returns to him. “You’re Yuji’s date for tonight.” She grinned hastily.

Nino manages to let out a small embarrassing chuckle. “Please, it’s really weird hearing that.” He told her. His voice is getting a bit blurry with the alcohol kicking in.

Yuji’s parts in the movie are all done a few weeks ago so he’s basically lazing around LA until the filming wraps up. Today is Nino’s free day and Yuji invited him to come this wedding, since he didn’t have anyone to bring as a date and his invite is for two. The groom is his friend in high school, a Japanese guy who is born and raised in America.

Yuji spent his younger years going back and forth in LA. Every time his father gets a role in a Hollywood movie, the whole family would come with him and Yuji and his younger sister would spent a few months in studying in a local school.

“I heard that you live in the same house too…” The girl grinned again, sipping on her cocktail.

He turns his stool to look at her, almost mad. It’s true though but this girl is implying something else.

The Takasugi family owns a big house in West Hollywood and Yuji lives there alone at the moment. Yuji threw a party there when they began filming, inviting the cast and staff of the movie. It’s a massively big house, almost like a mansion. Days later, Yuji asked him and another cast member if they wanted to live in their house. He agreed with the offer instead of living in the cramped apartment space the Jimusho provided for him.

“Are you a Japanese tabloid reporter? ‘Coz you sounded like one.” Nino asked her with annoyance. “How did you get in here? This is a private party.”

He shot an irritated glance and it was only then that he gets to have a proper look at her face. Her shoulder length hair is colored in a very light-bleached blonde, the tips are carefully twisted in a soft, pretty curls.  Fake eyelashes, thick line of eyeliner around her eyes, her pouty lips in a hot pink lipstick, the thick make-up on her small face can be seen even miles away. She’s wearing a flashy strapless black dress and a dazzling diamond necklace dangling on her chest.

This girl is just as flashy as everyone else in this room. Yes, she’s a bit good-looking, her tiny face and clear smooth skin justifies that but other than the outward appearance, Nino thinks that she’s just the same as the other girls in this party, self-centered and mean.

“No I’m not.” She answers nonchalantly. “I’m Seira.” She reaches out her arm for a handshake.

“I’m not asking for your name.” Nino replied coldly, ignoring the extended arm in front of him.

She pulled back her arm and a small odd smile spread across her face.

“I can’t believe my brother lets a judgmental, anti-social jerk live in our house. Moreover, he’s occupying my own bedroom.” She clicks her tongue as she teasingly shakes her head in disappointment.

Nino drops his jaw in shock. Maybe he went a little overboard in judging her intentions right away. But then again, he cannot solely blame himself because she started throwing uneasy question at him.

“You’re Yuji’s little sister?” He asked, confirming.

She nodded at once. “Younger sister.” She clarified, lifting a finger. “Little sister sounds like some small kid in elementary. Yuji should stop referring to me as his little sister, seriously.” She smiled, tiny face scrunches up cutely whenever she smiles.

Yuji and his sister have a few things in common, Nino thought. Both are sociable and vibrant. From the way she continues conversing with him, it looks like she didn’t mind his cold treatment earlier.

“Takasugi Seira.” She extends her arms again, expecting that this time, he’ll take it.

“Ninomiya Kazunari.” Nino slowly takes it as they briefly shake their hands. He’s still not accustomed to western customs and handshakes always make him awkward. They always never touch the other for one second during first meetings back in Japan.

“I’m sorry about earlier. It’s just not my day.” He apologizes after the handshake. If he don’t revert the conversation, he’ll continue being awkward until one of them speaks up.

“No problem” She assured with a smile. “I’m just being annoying. I didn’t know you’d take that seriously.”

“If you introduced yourself earlier, I might have play along with you.” Nino chuckled wearily. It’s getting a bit late and he had enough alcohol for the day.

Seira laughs gently, the soft curly tips of her hair falling over shoulders. For a moment, both were silent, sipping on their drinks and thinking of a topic to continue the conversation.

“You hated this, huh?” Seira told him knowingly and he nodded timidly.

“I don’t really have good social skills.” He mumbled, playing with the tip of his whiskey glass. “Besides, these formal social gathering scares me. Everyone look too fake and so full of themselves... and I hate expensive and weird looking food.” He pointed out while rolling his eyes.

“So, do I scare you?” She asked. “Do I look fake and so full of myself?” A smirk is seen on the corner of her lips.

Nino stares at her for a brief moment. “Yuji is a really nice guy, you know.” He started. “And I had the chance to co-star with your father once before. The man is a big role model, I look up to him…” He trailed off on purpose as he sniggers quietly.

Seira laughs and smile with such graceful poise and delicateness, he recognizes, truly a girl of high social class.

“You scare me at first.” Nino finally answered her question. “Asking weird questions like some creep.” He commented nonchalantly as she laughed embarrassingly. “But I think you’re okay.”

“Just okay?” She asked, a bit disappointed.

It was Nino’s turn to laugh. She seems like a really playful girl.

 And just when he’s about to answer back with a favorable reply, someone from behind called her name, signaling for her to come and join them.

“Go on, girls. I’ll join later. The night is still young.” Seira yelled back in perfect English.

“Why don’t you join them?” Nino asked, surely, those girls a far more enjoyable companion than him.

Seira shakes her head, gulped the liquid that remains on her cocktail glass before swinging her bar stool in front of him. “Wanna get out of here?” She asked him.

Nino looks hesitant. “Come on, I know you wanted to get out of here since you arrived.”

He still didn’t answer back. He looks around for a sign of Yuji and he found him in the middle of the dancefloor, dancing wildly with a bunch of girls.

“Yuji totally ditched you.” She commented and then suddenly, without warning, she took Nino by the wrist and dragged him out of the ballroom.

----------

In the Takasugi mansion, Nino lounges comfortably by the poolside under the spring night sky. The Armani suit he’s wearing earlier is yanked carelessly on the rough ground, his bowtie is loosely hanging over his collar and his white shirt is tucked in messily on his pants.

On the pool chair beside him, Seira is lying silently with her eyes closed, her hair is a bit messy now and her make-up is a bit ruined.

In between them is a table with cans of cheap beer and bags of chips. They continued drinking when they got home, only this time with the cheap beers on the fridge, she told him he might like it better than expensive wine or whiskey.

He told her about the movie and how he’s coping with the American way of living. She’s living in America for almost three years now and most of the time she’s here in LA but when Yuji called to say that he’s coming over, she moved to San Francisco with her friends. She says living with Yuji is impossible, he bosses her around and he takes his big brother role too seriously.

Seira is a bit westernized, he realizes as he glances at her, aggressive, happy-go-lucky and full of confidence.

“What time is it?” She mumbled in slurred voice. Her eyes are still closed and still unfazed.

Nino looked at his watch and reads. “1:25.”

“Oh gosh.” She slowly moved from her position and stood up from the chair to pick up their empty beer cans and chip wrappers.

“Go sleep in your room, I’ll share the guest room with Kenta.” Nino told her as he stood up and helps her collect their garbage.

 Along with Nino, Yuji also invited another cast member to live in their house, Ito Kenta, a newbie actor who auditioned for the production and snagged a minor role.

Seira smiled crookedly. “Or maybe you can share the room with me…” She puts in and when she lifts up her head, her face is on a few centimeters away from his.

Nino froze on his spot. He doesn’t know what to do upon seeing her face leaning towards him and her, unmoved is not helping.

Seira chuckled as she slowly pulled back. “I’m just joking.” She mumbled nonchalantly. With her hand full of empty beer cans, she strides off inside the kitchen, Nino followed uneasily.

“You can have my room. I’m flying back to San Francisco in a few hours.” She told him, dropping off the cans inside the garbage bin. “I told you, it’s impossible with Yuji.” She reminded him with a grin.

Nino just smiled tensely, he couldn’t even find the words to say.

“I’m just going to take a shower and change into comfortable clothes. Then, I’ll be off to the airport.” She told him and he only manages a nod.

 She chuckled at him before disappearing into the stairs.

Nino dropped into the stools by the kitchen counter, his mind filled with what just happened outside. If she didn’t laughed for just a second he might have leaned over and kiss her.  But then again, he doesn’t want to complicate things.

He just met Seira a few hours ago and more importantly, she is Yuji’s sister. He respects her brother and her father a lot and he should also show a bit of respect for her, even if she’s obviously throwing herself at him.

A few minutes later, the front door opens and Nino jumps on his seat at the sudden sound. He leaned over from the stool and saw Yuji coming in.

“Where’s Seira?” Yuji asked him as he walks straight to the fridge to get water.

“Taking a shower.” Nino answers, rubbing his fingers on his forehead. He’s starting to get a headache.

Yuji picks up an unopened beer can by the counter and asks. “You went drinking?” He asked, smiling.

Nino nods nonchalantly. “She drags me off the reception and brought me here to drink cheap beer.” He chuckled.

 Yuji laughs. From the look of it, seems like he doesn’t mind that he went drinking with his sister. Well, as long as he doesn’t find out that they almost kissed.

“Well, that’s my sister.” Yuji told him knowingly. “She can be really persistent and annoying and a brat.”

“She’s fun.” Nino commented.

“Why, thank you, Ninomiya Kazunari, for saying that I’m fun. I’m glad you liked my company.” Seira appeared from behind. A big bag strapped on her shoulders, all ready to go.

Nino only manages to stare at her without a word. Obviously, she’s more attractive when she’s simple. Her bleach blonde hair is messily flowing off her shoulders, her face clearer and even tinier without any signs of make-up. It is only now he realizes that her eyes are way beautiful without that eyeliner, its light brown in color and her eyelashes are attractively long, what he thought are fake eyelashes earlier are actually real. 

She’s wearing simple t-shirt, skinny jeans and a flip-flops. He didn’t didn’t realize her height earlier because she’s wearing high heels but she’s actually small, a few inches smaller than him.

“Leaving so soon?” Yuji commented, coming over to her side and ruffling her damp hair.

She growled in irritation while trying to escape her brother’s grip. “I just came here for the wedding. And I have plans with the girls tomorrow, I have to head out to San Francisco before the sun is up or they’ll leave me for our trip.” She rolled her eyes and laughed. “I called a cab earlier, it should be here any minute.”

Yuji’s arms are on her shoulders as they walk towards the front door. Seira glances over at Nino and smiled at him. He smiled back, very awkwardly.

“When are you going back to Japan, Sei? Mom and Dad are missing you so much.” Yuji asked. “Any chance you may come back with me? I’m leaving in a few weeks.”

“My schedule is full for the rest of the year, you know.” She replied back with a chirpy laugh.

“It’s just April.” Yuji rolled his eyes. “And besides, you’re not doing anything, anyways.”

A car honk at once and a cab is waiting in front of their house.

“I’ll be coming over, soon. I’ll let you know, okay?” Seira tiptoed up to give her brother a kiss on the cheek before glancing over the door to wave at Nino.

“Bye, Nino. It was nice meeting you.” She smiled.

“Same here.” Is all he can say as he waved her goodbye.

She run over to the cab and before she enters, she waved her hand at the two men by the door.

As the cab disappears into his sight, Nino can only heave a sigh. It wasn’t a bad day after all, he thought. As a small smile appear on the side of his lips.




How was the prologue? :)) My inspiration for Seira, appearance-wise, is that of Minami Akina (If you don't know her, watch her at AnS #104) I think she's really cute and my image of Seira suits her cuteness. :)


 
 
 
raene_9raene_9 on June 17th, 2012 01:29 pm (UTC)
this is interesting & intriguing! another powerful family to deal w/ but this time in the entertainment world. can't wait for more! :)
Where Dreams Can Be Reality: Nino Nerdmikaa22 on June 18th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, this one, I can say that it's more light-hearted and funny/candid than Sho's. :)
Brat Nino + Bratty rich girl = chaos! Haha!
Bea: nino in deep thoughtbea_chan22 on June 18th, 2012 04:04 am (UTC)
I was supposed to comment yesterday but internet got Sho's fail. -_-;;

Anyway...

I'm so excited to see Nino's love life be happier! After all he deserved it after 2 previous stories. I want to know what will happen next because from the looks of it, these 2 have very interesting characters! *3*

Edited at 2012-06-18 04:06 am (UTC)
Where Dreams Can Be Reality: Nino Nerdmikaa22 on June 18th, 2012 05:17 pm (UTC)
It's interesting because Nino finally met a match. LOL. XD

Edited at 2012-06-18 05:18 pm (UTC)
mojojowan: ohno_lipsmojojowan on June 21st, 2012 05:11 am (UTC)
hi it's me again XD

hmmmm~~~ this is interesting~~ i can't wait to read the first chapter XDXD

thank you so much :D
Aruarasukishi on July 1st, 2012 03:00 am (UTC)
I love the opening! ::D It's perfect how you built a cocoon around them so that even as the party was happening, it seemed like there were only two people in the room. It was just the two of them talking, yikee ::P

On to the next!